After weeks of campaigning, tomorrow marks the day when people all over the country can take a trip to their local polling station to put their ‘x’ against the political party that they want to lead the country for the next 5 years. The ability to carry out this very simple act of democracy that takes just minutes for people to perform has taken centuries to achieve. It’s just one of the many freedoms that we enjoy in this country and over the years well-meaning activists have dedicated their lives to secure these freedoms for future generations.
In sharp contrast, it has been so shocking in the past few weeks to see activists of another sort attacking people who are simply enjoying those freedoms, including ordinary folk in Manchester and London who were just exercising their right to have a good night out either at a concert or in a pub. Bombs and knives are not the only weapons employed by these activists. Fear, suspicion and uncertainty now touch all of our lives in some way or other.
At our Sunday’s All Together Service, John who is visiting us from Westcott College in Cambridge, reminded us of the transforming power of the Holy Spirit as he came on the disciples at Pentecost. Now more than ever in the aftershock of such terrible acts of evil both at home and abroad, we are in need of a fresh outpouring of the courage and inspiration given to those first Christians all those years ago. But the Holy Spirit didn’t just come in the form of wind and fire to show his presence. He also gave the disciples the ability to speak in different languages, breaking down barriers to allow to people from different nations and cultures to communicate freely and to build relationships.
At this time of Pentecost let’s pray for that ability to continue to keep the lines of communication open between different communities, so to protect a way of life that so many have fought to establish over the years.